A local mom is counting on her customers to provide spirituality, hot meals and Easter treats to children here at home and around the world.
Christy Ennis of Holly Springs is a consultant with Initial Outfitters, a national direct sales company specializing in jewelry and accessories.
Initial Outfitters is committed to a mission of feeding hungry children around the world through the Charlie’s Lunch charity. As part of that outreach, Ennis creates her own Lunchbox Love projects throughout the year, and her current endeavor will benefit 77 children in the Methodist Home for Children’s foster care program in central and eastern North Carolina.
“I go to a Methodist church, and they pass out envelopes once a year for an offering that goes straight to that ministry,” Ennis said. “I thought that would be a perfect match, and then a new member joined my team and she works for the Methodist Home, so I thought that was my sign for my next project.”
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Ennis is selling Initial Outfitters’ thermal lunch totes with Easter-themed embroidery for $20 each.
“With the commission, I would normally make 20 percent. I take that money and buy the goodies going into the lunchboxes,” Ennis said. “That will be little Bibles, crayons and coloring books and little Easter treats and some other goodies, and we will deliver them to the Methodist Home foster children the week leading up to Easter Sunday.”
Ennis is still working toward her goal of 77 lunchboxes.
The sales of the lunch totes also support the Charlie’s Lunch nonprofit, a worldwide anti-hunger initiative. Charlie’s Lunch was founded by Sam and Janey Stewart, Guatemalan missionaries who lost their son Charlie to a heart defect in 1996. The ministry was born when Charlie’s mother opened her door and found hungry children begging for bread.
“She was at a loss to how she wanted to carry on Charlie’s legacy,” Ennis said. “When the children came knocking and begging for food, she said, ‘Let me give them Charlie’s lunch.’”
The children returned day after day for food and shared it with their friends, which led to opening lunchrooms that offered hot food and Bible studies.
“They are fed physically and spiritually,” Ennis said.
When Initial Outfitters was founded, the company’s owners were looking for a charity partner and adopted the Charlie’s Lunch program.
“It is a very Christian-based company,” Ennis said. “For a lot of consultants the number one draw is the Christian aspect and the partnership we have so strongly to Charlie’s Lunch.”
There are now 17 Charlie’s Lunchrooms and one Charlie’s Lunch orphanage, and the program serves 1,100 children in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Zambia and India.
Initial Outfitters is the primary corporate sponsor. The company offers special promotions and asks customers to “round up” their totals to an even dollar, with the extra being donated to Charlie’s Lunch.
For Ennis, it is fulfilling to be part of a business that supports at-risk children in her home state and around the world.
“Before I became a consultant six years ago, I was a kindergarten teacher,” she said. “I had a big draw to children from the beginning. I always loved that connection with the kids. Not only do I still have a way to help children, at the same time I can contribute in a way I would not normally be able to, by sponsoring 77 children.”
For more information about the Lunchbox Love project, contact Christy Ennis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus each week. Email her with details of upcoming events at email@example.com.